Saturday, February 28, 2009

Estate Jewelry As An Asset Class?

The stock market is tanking, AAA bonds are becoming junk, real estate is a mess and cash is paying nothing. So...where do you invest?

Quality Estate Jewelry perhaps?

Don't take my word for it.
Here's financial journalist Conseulo Mack and jewelry investor Patrizia di Carrobio on the subject.
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Dreaming About The Ring

You probably thought that I this is the ring that I had in mind. Vintage Bezel Set Diamond Ring in 18K from
But no.
I've been dreaming about the long awaited Ring Cycle by the LA Opera.
Seattle, San Francisco, Munich, Vienna and of course Bayreuth have staged all four of Richard Wagner's Ring Cycle Operas

I'll admit that it can be difficult to sit through the 4 hour performances
But in the end it is worth it just to hear music like this.

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Friday, February 27, 2009

Dating In A Downturn

From the by way of Instapundit
Feb 26 2009, 1:05 pm by Reihan Salam
Dating in a Downturn
In yesterday's Washington Post, Tara Bahrampour filed a dispatch on dating in an economic downturn.
From investment bankers to real estate developers to construction workers, no job means no buying rounds of $15 martinis for a pretty woman and her girlfriends. No hosting parties in the bachelor loft. And often, no idea how to present one's new self on the dating market.

The real issue is: will an economic downturn break the back of the regime in which women are expected to take, and are socialized into, the role of the provided-for party? Given the fact that women's rates of educational attainment are surpassing that of men, and the fact that the downturn will likely accelerate the decline of a number of male-dominated professions -- construction, finance, etc. -- will we see a sharp rise in the economic power of women that will lead to a corresponding change in the sexual marketplace?

We shall see...
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Gossip Girl - Gem Style

OK, so I'm probably the only one out there who's not a fan of the show Gossip Girl. For some reason the characters on it just make me cringe.
But I am a fan of the online Gossip Girl who writes the Gem Gossip blog....
And, not just because she was nice enough to mention some Beladora estate jewelry in her post
Glitz From The Past

One of the pieces that she wrote about is this pretty strand of cultured pearls.

Sometimes pearl necklaces all look the same to me! However, this pearl necklace is unlike any I’ve seen. The clasp is gorgeous, featuring a diamond and six sapphires. Now, if your necklace is on backwards, it will look better! Price: $535.50

So, if you looking for scoop on which jewelry the celebrities are wearing, Gem Gossip is the blog to read.
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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Music- Radiohead - Karma Police

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Damn It Feels Good To Catch A Banker

I recently finished this book with cleverly titled chapters such as
"It's all about the bonuses, baby"
"Geogetown? I wouldn't let my maids' kids go there"
"This is how we do it on Broad & Wall, Bitch!"
It is a very amusing parody of the culture of Wall Street, from investment banking to private equity to hedge funds. But like in any parody, there is a kernel of truth, especially when it comes to the arrogance required to be successful.
And a step away from this kind of arrogance is the hubris that leads to this.

Money managers accused of $550 million fraud

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Two money managers who oversaw investments for Carnegie Mellon University and other institutions were arrested on Wednesday on charges of running an estimated $550 million, decade-long swindle, the latest in a wave of big financial fraud cases.

The pair, both former part-owners of the New York Islanders National Hockey League team, are accused of using client money as "their personal piggy-bank" to fund lavish lifestyles, according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Authorities contend the scheme began in 1996 and operated through this month. Of the $667 million that clients invested, Greenwood and Walsh misused as much as $554 million, the SEC said.
Greenwood, of North Salem, New York, was accused of using investor funds to buy items including horses and expensive collectibles, while Walsh, of Sands Point, New York, was accused of using client money for himself and to make large payments to his ex-wife.

Hubris indeed. Madoff was only the many more of these guys are going to get caught?
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What A Way To Go


A Russian man died after guzzling a bottle of Viagra to keep him going for a 12-hour orgy with two female pals.
The women had bet mechanic Sergey Tuganov $4,300 that he wouldn’t be able to follow through with the half-day sex marathon.
But minutes after winning the bet, the 28-year-old died of a heart attack, Moscow police said.
“We called emergency services but it was too late, there was nothing they could do,” said one of the female participants who identified herself only as Alina.
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Perplexing Pork-A-Palooza

It seems that I've completely lost track of what Federal funds are required to pay for...versus State, County and City funds and private money... silly me.
Apparently now there is nothing too insignificant for Federal funds to be spent on.
From the NY Post

WASHINGTON - Congress went on a pork-a-palooza yesterday, approving a massive spending bill with big bucks for Hawaiian canoe trips, research into pig smells, and tattoo removal - all while the nation faces an economic crisis.
Among the recipients of federal largesse is the Polynesian Voyaging Society of Honolulu, which got a $238,000 "earmark" in the bill.

New York got its share of earmarks, among them $475,000 to "improve and expand" the Italian American Museum in Little Italy.

There's nothing not to love about the Polynesian Voyaging Society in Hawaii or the Italian American Museum in Little Italy in New York...but why does Federal money have to be earmarked for them?
Can't these organizations raise the money from private donors instead of using Federal tax dollars?
Just saying couldn't somebody like Larry Ellison just write a $238,000 check to the Polynesian Voyaging Society...for crissakes he probably earns that kind of money in an hour....and he likes to sail....
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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pretty As A Princess - Red Carpet Fantasy

Is it just me or did anyone else think that these actresses were all dressed up for a late night rendez-vous with Prince Charming at the castle? Did someone lose a glass slipper?

Miley Cyrus in Zuhair Murad

SJP in Dior Couture

Penelope Cruz in Vintage Balmain
The more that I think about these princess style ball gowns, the more appropriate I consider them to be for our current economic situation. After all, Hollywood is the ultimate Fantasyland providing us with the escapist entertainment that we crave.
Hollywood created some of the most over the top glamorous films during the 1930s and was wildly successful during the Great Depression. I think that the entertainment industry will be one of the few to have above average returns over the next couple of long as the studios create escapist films.
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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

From today's Drudge Report

Obama Says USA will rebuild and emerge stronger...
Obama vows to increase number of soldiers...
Obama vows to seek cure for cancer 'in our time'...
Obama says bank bailout may cost more than expected...
Obama promises universal EDUCATION THROUGH COLLEGE...
Obama promises universal health care...

Is there anything this President can't do????

Somehow it all reminds me of the lyrics from the famous Burt Bacharach- Dion Warwick song from the Broadway musical Promises Promises
( mother took me to see the show in New York when I was just a wee little girl)
Promises, promises I'm all through with promises, promises now ...

A very close friend of mine with a high position at a major trust company told me last week about half of her department got laid off. And I'm hearing a lot more stories like this.
Not to mention that my son, young Mr. de Ville was laid off as well.

Look, I love a good college education as much as the next person... I even went to college and to graduate school, but universal education through college wouldn't be anywhere at the top of my list for helping America. How about improving the economy so that jobs can be created...and sustained... for people that can't be outsourced to India and elsewhere.

Just saying...
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Monday, February 23, 2009

Go For The Gold - And Do Something Good For Youth Aids


I received this email from Rick Maggio, of That Agency, a few days ago and forgot to tell you about it.

As it turns out, I’m working with World Gold Council on a project that might be fabulous for your readers! It’s a great contest which supports an even greater cause. Debra Messing (star of USA Network’s new series The Starter Wife), Robert Lee Morris (legendary jeweler) and World Gold Council are hosting a contest for consumers to win a gold bracelet designed by Debra Messing herself, in collaboration with Robert Lee Morris, in support of Debra’s favorite charity Youth AIDS. Consumers simply share their favorite story that involves gold jewelry, and the best one will win this amazing bracelet. Some of the stories entered to date are very touching and make for inspirational reading. I am confident your readers will enjoy reading these stories and they may have one of their own to share.

Contest Summary

Tell your favorite story that involves a piece of gold jewelry for a chance to win an 18K Gold Bracelet (1 of only 4 ever made) designed by Deborah Messing and Robert Lee Morris. Previous entries to this contest can be found at This contest benefits YouthAids ( End Date: February 24th, 2009To Enter: Visit to submit your short story.
The end date for the contest is tomorrow...
so how fast can you write a winning story?
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Rocking The Red Carpet In The Big Rocks

In addition to Angelina Jolie's extreme emeralds, here are five more opulent but not over the top jewelry looks that rocked the red carpet.
Heidi Klum - Earrings by ???
Alicia Keys - Earrings by ???
Amy Adams - Fred Leighton Estate Jewelry
(OK, the consensus around the office was that this necklace wore Amy Adams...not the other way around. Still I like that fact that she went so bold with scale of the piece.)
Taraji Henson - Fred Leighton Estate Jewelry
Amanda Seyfried - Fred Leighton Estate Jewelry

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Red Carpet Radiance- Extreme Emeralds versus Demure Diamonds

Kate Winslet in Stefano Pilati for YSL and jewelry by Chopard

Angelina Jolie in Elie Saab and jewelry by Lorraine Schwartz we all know by now that the very talented Kate Winslet nailed the Oscar for Best Actress
and while I love the diamond bling by Chopard...
Angelina Jolie nailed the red carpet with her over the top emerald earrings.
The size, intensity and translucency of the emeralds were stunning.
This is red carpet jewelry at its best.
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Desperately Seeking Sunshine

As the sky clouds up and another rainstorm in on the way....I'm beginning to feel as though this winter is never going to be over.
It's true that I enjoyed our unusually cold winter and the view of the snow covered mountains from my window...
but I'm over it now and desperately seeking sunshine.

Now if I just could take a week off I would go to the Villa Azul Celeste in Puerto Vallarta.

I would lounge all day by the infinity pool

Enjoying the view of the ocean

In my Michael Kors gold chain bikini from Canyon Beachwear

And enjoy the sunset view with a margarita....or three
until dinner is served by the cook

Since this vacation is all about Mexican Riviera casual
No need to dress up with anything more than this
Debbie Katz Tie dress from Canyon Beachwear
and a little Beladora jewelry

Vintage 1970's turquoise and diamond ring in textured 18K

Unlike the last time I stayed at this villa 20 something years ago, there would be no late night clubbing and shots of tequila resulting in someone (not me) having to be air evacuated out to a hospital in San Francisco...
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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Dating and Drinking - Men versus Women

What goes through your mind when someone says
"Let's go for a drink"

Or...why we love men...and beer.
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Music - Look At The Sky

Mr. K. this is for you.
it's amazing the things you can find on youtube...
( the handsome and talented young Mr. K taken or can we fix him up with young Miss De Ville...)
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Terje's First Descent

For some reason when I look at the top of a snow covered mountain I just don't feel the need to do this...

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Never Beautiful Enough

Does this woman, a healthy, 27-year-old, five-foot-nine-inch, 120-pound figure, need plastic surgery?

Yes, apparently so.... according to her exposé in Vanity Fair after she consulted three New York City plastic surgeons.

When I began this project, I was relatively certain that I didn’t need plastic surgery. I also suspected that plastic surgeons might tell me otherwise. To test my hypothesis, I went undercover. In the process, I hoped to learn something about what happens inside examination rooms across New York City and, by extension, the United States. Are teenybopper idols and those who emulate them freely choosing plastic surgery? Or is plastic surgery choosing them?

My mission within this sterile examination room is simple enough: to catch an up-close-and-personal glimpse of a multi-billion-dollar industry. This is my first stop in a series of three consultations with plastic surgeons at various price points. I plan to give each one free rein over my face and body, to discover how far each will go in urging me to alter my objectively healthy, 27-year-old, five-foot-nine-inch, 120-pound figure.

I won't post all of the comments made by Dr. David P. Rappaport and the other surgeons but the money quote is this.

In total, Dr. Rapaport proposes roughly $33,000 worth of plastic surgery. By this time my self-image is so battered that, had I the money, I sincerely doubt I could refuse.

Now, I'm not in any way anti-surgery...if you need it. My Beverly Hills doctor has already suggested a mini face lift for me....though it wouldn't be my first choice in surgical self improvement...I'd much rather have a boob job and lipo now and a face lift later.

Do you think that $33,000 in surgery is a reasonable investment for a 27 year old woman with a figure like this?
Just curious...
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Friday, February 20, 2009

Fall RTW 2009 - Retreating From The Runway

Is it enough to have Anna Wintour as a fan?

After a season of silliness to sumptuousness on the New York runways
the Wall Street Journal reports on Peter Som who seems to be the only designer
who understands that fashion is a business.

Living on the Edge in World of Fashion
Designer Peter Som Sits Out New York Fashion Week, Illustrating How a Solid Reputation Doesn't Pay the Bills

Mr. Som, who has been in business for almost 10 years, is one of several Vogue-stamped young designers who thus far have survived the fickle world of fashion design. In 2004 he was a semifinalist in the first CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund initiative, which supports and promotes young designers. In 2007, he took on a second job as the designer for Bill Blass, where he was tasked with adding some sizzle to the storied but dusty American fashion house. His shows, a highlight of Fashion Week, garnered big sponsorships from companies including American Express and Mercedes-Benz.

But in an industry built on illusions, appearances are deceiving. Like most emerging fashion houses, Mr. Som's business, even at its height, barely broke even. Until last year, when a private-equity investor paid $3 million for a 65% stake in the company, Mr. Som and his business partner, Chief Executive Elana Posner, never paid themselves salaries.

Ms. Posner, a former corporate lawyer and Web entrepreneur, says that the entire fashion industry "is in survival mode."

Really? Not from what I could see in the runway shows.

In a nod to the times, Mr. Som, is sitting out Fashion Week this season and putting on a small presentation in his showroom instead.

Mr. Som says his eight-person company is responding to the headwinds by becoming "a leaner, meaner machine." He has already dipped into a rainy day fund that his parents, both architects, socked away for him.
Mr. Som and Ms. Posner will face a crucial test in the next few weeks, when they negotiate financing to produce their fall line. The company has received a few calls from potential investors and is meeting with one this week.

For now, Mr. Som is preparing to show his pared-down fall collection containing 16 looks, compared with about 35 in previous seasons. Ms. Posner is lowering price points by at least 20%, partly by pushing their New York factories to give her cheaper rates. A jacquard pleated skirt will cost $695 at retail, compared with $850 for a similar style for fall 2008.

I am a big fan of Peter Som. He is tremendously talented and I hope that by lowering his prices and going into "survival mode" his company will thrive.

As for a few other brands... like Miss Sixty....I can't say that I would be too disappointed if they didn't make it through the recession.

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Fall RTW 2009 - Mizrahi The Merry Prankster

Isaac Mizrahi is talented designer and an even more talented marketeer.
I've always appreciated his tongue in cheek attitude and sense of humor.
But this collection is a joke....and I'm not in on it.
Are you?

Do these look like clothes that you would purchase during a recession
or any other time, ever?
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Going Green With Gavin, Leonardo, Orlando and More

Forget the Vanity Fair Party and the Governor's Ball
Here's the only Oscar Party (pre or post) that I would have wanted to attend
Musical performance by Gavin Rossdale
Enough said.

At least one of the young jewelry divas will be there representing Team Beladora
(and wearing vintage Jean Mahie in 22K)
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Fall RTW 2009 - Gravitating To Gray I don't really love the giant funnel neck sweater but the suit is all business...just like me.

Simple and Chic

Great architecture on the sleeves and skirt...I'd skip the arm warmers though.

By far this isn't one of Michael Kors best is even rather uninspired.
There's nothing here that we haven't seen before...and the palate is basic gray with touches of yellow, orange and magenta thrown in for accent...after all who doesn't love a giant fur trapper's hat in magenta.
Still, the collection is full of wearable clothes not costumes.
And wouldn't these pieces be nice with a little pink for the soft chic look
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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Vintage Value Venture - Or Why Beladora Is Better

Vintage Van Cleef & Arpels Lion's Head Earrings

Let's just say that you are looking for some jewelry with a classic iconic look like these Van Cleef & Arpels lion's head doorknocker earrings.
Yeah you could buy them at the competing website....which shall not be named...for $7450 could buy them from for $4850.
Just saying...
PS. well someone must be reading this blog because these earrings sold today...
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Fall 2009 Ready To Wear - Tempted By Tuleh

This morning I was thinking about Scrimp, Splurge, Deprivation and Abundance
and how painless it would be to cut back on buying new clothes this year
because most of what I see in the 2009 Fall RTW Collections is completely unwearable...
at least it is for me.
Short Skirts, Big Shoulders, Slouchy Silhouettes, etc...
didn't I already wear those clothes in the 1980's?

So far I've only seen a sprinkling of pieces that I would consider buying
and not surprisingly three of them come from one of my favorites, Tuleh.

Portrait Neckline, High Collared Shirt
A Little Edwardian Bespoke Look

Nicely Cut Coat, Not Too Much Pattern

Regal, Timeless, Flattering and Perfect For Serious Jewelry

Tuleh is tremendously expensive, probably because the construction has couture like details. Open up a Tuleh jacket and look at the lining and the stitching....maybe only Chanel RTW has the same quality of craftsmanship.
Tuleh is an investment and as when I invest my time, energy, and affection in another person, I always admire the exterior package but pay true attention to the interior content of character.
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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Fall 2009 RTW - Miss Sixty Missed It

It's getting ugly out there...and I don't mean the economy.
After looking at the Fall 2009 RTW collections I've been faced with a dilemma....
Which collection was my least favorite?
There were so many unflattering details spread throughout the many collections that it was indeed hard to make a decision.
Until I saw Miss Sixty.
Acid Wash with Boa?

Acid Wash Encore and What's Up With The Model's Boobs?

Over Corseted, Bad Animal Prints and Dynasty Worthy Shoulders?

Mad Max Vinyl Princess?

Today, the Miss Sixty brand is shown in the Guggenheim Museum in New York City in the United States. They also launched their first fashion show in New York in 2006. In all, the Sixty
Group employs over 1,500 people and is highly respected within the world of fashion. The company is known for its quality and willingness to experiment with design, as well as its unique approach to fashion and its level of creativity. As such, the line of clothing has been described as having a strong identity and versatile personality that distinguishes it from other clothing lines..
(versatile personality?....I'm thinking more along the lines of a personality disorder)

Seriously, I don't know how the models kept from cracking up on the runway in these less than Guggenheim Museum worthy outfits. (It looks like they weren't in on the joke)

Other than the leather leggings/boots... would you wear any of these clothes?
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